Library turns a page in its history

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Home > Media > News > Library turns a page in its history
Library turns a page in its history
Photos: Naomi Leach

A Catholic library dedicated to promoting knowledge of the Catholic faith in schools, parishes and the wider community is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

The Fr John Wall Community Library, located in New Town, is host to an established and growing collection of school resources, books, films and music.

Founded on a bequest from the late Fr John Wall, the library incorporated books from the collections of John Fisher College, the former Tasmanian Pastoral Resource Centre, and from Fr Wall’s personal collection.

Antiquarian books owned by the beloved Tasmanian pastor are displayed in the library, including the library’s most prized item – a Latin Vulgate New Testament from Switzerland printed in 1477.

Originally located at St Aloysius College in Kingston, the library was moved to the New Town site in 2013.

It now houses more than 26,000 catalogued items, with Anita Gill, the library’s Digital Resource Officer, working to increase its digital collection.

Long time staff member Edward Sianski says the library serves as an outreach.

“I’ve always seen the library as an evangelising tool,” Mr Sianski said.

“We have people who aren’t necessarily Catholic also use the library. We’ve had people from other denominations come and use it. I think we’ve had teachers who’ve been working in other schools who have also taken advantage of the library from time to time,” he said.

The library has had its share of auspicious visitors. When located at St Aloysius Catholic College, the then-Papal Nuncio Giuseppe Lazzarotto dropped in.

“I showed him the Bible and he was quite amazed … and he rattled off the Latin,” Mr Sianski said.

“So that was about the closest thing to the Pope we’ve had.”

He says he sees working in the library as a ministry.

“I’m pretty much convinced that adult faith education, or education in the faith, is vital,” he said.

As the library marks 10 years, interest in the library’s services is increasing, with the space increasingly popular for events and booked for group meetings.

“Word of mouth is starting to really take off. More people are contacting us, asking if they can come for planning days with their staff,” Mrs Gill said.

The library staff are also forging closer ties with CatholicCare Children’s Services in New Town, hosting a fortnightly story time for the children.

The library has also developed a relationship with one of the state’s parishes, allowing books to be borrowed under a parish account and made available to parishioners at their local church.

Mrs Gill says these are ‘exciting times’ for the library.

“We are so busy these days!” she said.

The Fr John Wall Community Library is open 9am – 4pm, Monday to Friday. Membership to the library is free, and open to all members of the community.

Contact Mr Sianski or Mrs Gill on 6210 8867 for further information.